Thursday, October 4, 2007 - New Destination
04 October 2007 | En route from Neiafu, Tonga to Savusavu, Fiji
Sand Dollar is now headed to Savusavu instead of Levuka. The wind and seas have continued to pound us and the entrance to Levuka is subject to dangerous swells in high winds. For that reason we have detoured to Savusavu which is the same distance but much more protected. I expect landfall early tomorrow morning.
The past 48 hours has produced the fastest sailing I have experienced in Sand Dollar. At times yesterday we were maintaining an average speed of over 8 knots, surfing over one huge wave after another. The noon-to-noon distance was 139 miles for an average speed of 7.0 kts when the time is adjusted for the 4.25 hours hove to waiting for daylight at the passage through the reefs. Four boats converged on the passage at daybreak so we kept in touch on the VHF radio because visibility was so poor in the rain. Conditions eased for about three hours this afternoon and the sailing was quite pleasant but at dusk the wind and sea picked up again pushing the boat up to 7 kts.
All else is well onboard. Unfortunately, I heard news today on a radio net that the Finnish boat "Marita" hit a reef at the approach to the Fiji capital city of Suva. The boat is badly damaged and may be a complete loss but the crew are fine. I had spent some time with them in Niuatoputapu, Tonga. I hope they recover from their loss.